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Jewish Groups Urge Not to Raise Religious Issues in Election Campaign

The National Community Relations Advisory Council, coordinating body of six major national Jewish organizations and 52 Jewish councils in cities throughout the United States, today issued a statement declaring that to raise questions about the religious affiliation of presidential candidates is a negation of the principle of religious liberty.

The statement was approved by the NCRAC’s executive committee. It calls on “Americans of all faiths to resist any direct or indirect establishment of a religious test for public office.”

It warns against the introduction into American political life of “the kind of religious strife and voting blocs that have plagued other countries.” Candidates run “on the ticket and the platform of one or another political party,” the statement observes. “None is the candidate of a church or religious group.”

Participating in the executive committee meeting and joining in its unanimous action were representatives of all six of the NCRAC’s constituent national organizations and of Jewish community councils in many parts of the country. The national organizations comprising the NCRAC are: American Jewish Congress, Jewish Labor Committee, Jewish War Veterans of the U.S.A., Union of American Hebrew Congregations, Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America and United Synagogue of America.

The statement stresses that the position taken is consistent with a long term commitment by all the organizations to the view that religious affiliation is not a proper matter for debate in a political contest.

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